I was gobsmacked to find out that the City of Stirling is preparing to spend $250,000 on advertising the new Scarborough Beach swimming pool.
This pool is a very high profile piece of new infrastructure for Perth and when it opens it will receive a huge amount of free publicity on TV news, in newspapers and on the internet.
Also, the pool is likely to be very popular anyway.
Firstly, it is the only beach pool in Perth so it should be well patronised by tourists and Perth day trippers, especially those afraid of rips, sharks and cold water (it will be heated).
Secondly, the whole reason for building the pool in the first place was because there is huge local demand for one.
If anything, I would be concerned that it could be too popular?
Further, before coming up with an advertising budget for an event or the opening of a new public facility it is important to know how many people can fit in the venue?
When I asked what the capacity of this pool facility will be at the last council meeting, I was amazed that none of the directors or managers responsible for the project could give me even an approximate answer – they didn’t know.
So how was this amount of $250,000 arrived at and who approved it?
I would have assumed that a large amount like this would have required specific Council (Councillor) approval.
However, it is my understanding that the Council had no say in it and the decision was made by staff.
This is a classic example of the public sector out of touch with reality.
While the business sector and households are reigning in costs, ‘ Fat Cat’ bureaucrats are spending ratepayer’s money like Romans. Surely it would be a good idea to have a soft opening and see if any advertising is necessary after all of the free publicity?